By: Cinthia Ochoa
Many people have tried to stop heavy metal music. Groups have worked to censor the lyrics. Other have stopped musicians from performing. Parents and politicians swore that metal music would make teens violent and would use drugs. This leads to my curiosity question: Did heavy metal cause many individuals to fall victim to drug use, violence and devil worship?
In the article The Fate of All Metalheads, the author explains her experiences as former groupie of metal bands and someone who has an interest in heavy metal music. She explains that as someone who would do anything to go backstage with the band” she was around a lot of sex, drugs and rock n roll. That was in her youth. Now in her older years things have change. She is a psychology professor who conducted research to find out if metal heads around her age turned out to be productive members of society.
According to her research many metal fans did engage in risky behaviors like, drug use and sex. A factor that must be considered is that these individuals were dealing with external turbulence. When metal heads were compared to other groups, metal heads reported to be happier. Other groups were more likely to seek counselling for emotional support (Howe 2018). This could because in the metal scene fans can release all the anger and tension they may have been holding inside them. It would not be socially acceptable for someone kick and scream while they scream lyrics of songs.
While many adults (in 1980) fear the worse for their youth, this study indicates that metal heads were just as productive members of society as other groups who preferred other music. Usually individuals who did poorly did come from dysfunctional families and their inability to cope led to poor adjustment later in life. In the end many of the individuals who listen to metal music had some similarities. They claimed a sense of freedom when they listen to metal music. Metal heads felt a sense of purpose, by being part of a social movement and standing up for what they believe and not conforming to the status quo. Being with likeminded people allowed them to feel a sense of comradery. For many of them it allowed them to face difficult situations. Being able to release internal frustration and allowing the individual to express themselves. It can help an individual thrive. Unlike what was believed allowing metal heads to vent can not only be healthy for that individual but for those that surround them.
Howe, T. R. (n.d.). The Fate of The Metalheads. Retrieved October/November, 2018, from https://theconversation.com/the-fate-of-the-metalheads-44876.
Stacy, B. (Director). (2012, July 23). Metal: A headbanger's Journey [Video file]. Retrieved October 01, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7q1W0OD0uE&feature=youtu.be
Varas-Díaz, N., Rivera-Segarra, E., Medina, C. L., Mendoza, S., & González-Sepúlveda, O. (2014). Predictors of communal formation in a small heavy metal scene: Puerto Rico as a case study. Metal Music Studies, 1(1), 87-103. doi:10.1386/mms.1.1.87_1